Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Write?

I have spent quality time thinking about why I write and I've come up with several reasons that mostly stem from what I think might be the ultimate two reasons: I am the youngest and often kept my mouth shut amidst the chaos and just wrote down all of my feelings instead, and because I've moved a lot. During my childhood years I attended two different elementaries one in Utah and one in Nevada, two different junior high schools one in Utah and one in California, and three different high schools one in California and two in Utah. Oddly, I ended up going to the same high school that all of my friends from my first elementary and my first junior high went to. I guess somehow, life will eventually come around full circle.

I was often lonely and tired of being the new kid in school so I turned to my journals to vent or just to express my rapidly forming opinions. I've noticed, while looking back through my journals now that I used my journals mostly to talk about the things in life that bothered me rather than made me happy but occasionally I wrote about current events and how they affected me.

I have to laugh when I read enteries in my journals like the one I wrote on:
April 10, 1992 entery #31
My mom came into my room tonight and I said I wanted to go to the beach 'cause I've never been there and I don't want to sit around here all Spring Break. All she said was no and then she got up and left. She won't argue with me but when my sister is here, she'll spend time yelling at her and then she lets my sister do whatever she wants to do. I DON'T THINK THAT'S FAIR!

I'm not sure if I desperately wanted my mom to yell at me or if I thought it wasn't fair that my sister knew how to get what she wanted.

The best part of this journal entry is that I spent three pages complaining about how angry I was with my family and then on the bottom of the third page and continued onto the fourth page I write about a shirt label I had cut out and paperclipped to the page (yes, it's still there).
I wrote:
Well enough about me. This little tag: S.W.A.K. Inc., notice it says, Made in the U.S.A. That is becoming a very big deal right now. We need to start buying more American. I cut this label off of my clothes to put in here because that's what's going on.

The idea that there was a whole world that existed beyond my day to day life had occurred to me on and off throughout my childhood but the full impact of the world's problems really hit me around age thirteen. In 1991 I was thirteen and I became obsessed with the news. I hint at some of the current events here and there throughout the journals but it wasn't until 1992 that I started dedicating pages of my journal to my opinion of events I saw on the news.
On April 20, 1992 I was almost fourteen years old and in entry #33 I wrote:
Something stupid has been happening on TV. In California they haven't executed a person for 25 years and now they are supposed to execute some guy name (last name) Harrison because he murdered two girls. But they are debating whether or not they should do it. They say it's cruel and unusual treatment. Don't they think that what he did to those girls is cruel and unusual? They are all jerks. That guy should burn in Hell.
They said they would do it tonight but then they changed their minds and said they might do it in seven days from now or never. Harrison says his brother helped in one of the murders (last ditch effort, I guess).
There are a whole bunch of asshole protestors who say they shouldn't do it. But I think they should.

I guess I still tend to favor victims over criminals but I'm not sure what my position would be on that particular case today. A fourteen year old often doesn't have all the facts, but I was so passionate about that particular case that I can still remember the telecast even now when I think back on it. I had just moved from Utah, a state that isn't as crime ridden as California and I think I was afraid for my own personal safety. My high school in California, at that time, had a decent amount of crime. In Utah the kids would brawl but in California it was aim to kill. I was taking the bus home from school one day when a kid who was sitting in the seat in front of me ended up being the latest victim in the war of the races. When the fight broke out I felt trapped between them. I remember trying to shield myself hoping that I wouldn't get involved somehow. The seemingly innocent kid that was getting the crap beat out of him just happened to be white like me. He had been wearing an earring in one of his ears that one of the aggressors tore out. At that point, blood started flying around. There was blood on the window next to me and on my pants and my shirt. It took the bus driver a decent amount of time to pull over and remove the kids from the bus. The cops eventually came and took over, but the blood on my clothes never came out and the blood on the bus window wasn't cleaned off for days.

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